Did you know that there is a difference between battery-powered and electric toothbrushes? While a battery-powered toothbrush is little more than a glorified manual brush, an electric brush has definite advantages over its low-tech counterparts. Electric toothbrushes clean teeth better while keeping you from brushing too hard, are good for people with dexterity problems, and are greener.
Electric vs battery-powered: an arbitrary difference
Technically of course, the difference is rather arbitrary, since both types of toothbrushes use some form of electricity and some form of battery, but a picture should make things clear.
Unlike a battery-powered toothbrush, electric brushes need to be plugged in to recharge. The rules still apply for brushing when you use an electric toothbrush though. Use it twice a day for two-minutes each time. While battery-operated toothbrushes vibrate just a little, the electric models have different programs that oscillate and rotate. Some include sonic cleaning technology, and they may also include programs for sensitive teeth and gum health.
Electric toothbrush advantages
Most of the programs on an electric toothbrushes are timed, ensuring you are brushing long enough. Some electric brushes will not work if you apply too much pressure with them, preventing you from damaging your enamel by brushing too hard. While an electric toothbrush may cost more upfront, you need to replace the head only every six months, which could provide overall savings compared to replacing disposable toothbrushes.
People with arthritis or other dexterity problems, especially related to their hands and arms, can benefit from ditching their manual brush for a more high-tech model. The handles on electric toothbrushes are generally larger, making them easier to grip. It is also helpful that the powered head does most of the cleaning, requiring little input from the user.
Electronic toothbrushes are also the greener option. You would have to dispose of 12 to 42 electric toothbrush heads to equal the amount of plastic waste of a single manual toothbrush. While an electric toothbrush will eventually stop working and need to be replaced, even with the disposal of the unit it is believed to be better for the environment.
Why choose an electric toothbrush?
Less work and a more meticulous cleaning.
An electric toothbrush rotates at high speeds as you move it in your mouth, reaching deeper between your teeth and effectively brushing away much more of the food residues and bacteria that are inaccessible for a traditional toothbrush. All you have to do is place it at 45° angle and move it gently over your teeth, one area at a time, which allow you better results as you don’t risk to brush a side of your mouth less thoroughly than another.
Avoid tooth sensitivity.
An electric toothbrush avoids gum injuries and teeth abrasion, as it applies a calculated, equal pressure and is accompanied by a pressure sensor that prevents you from unknowingly brushing too hard.
A multitude of features.
Electric toothbrushes offer multiple brushing modes according to your needs. Ranging from whitening, gum care, tongue cleaning to a multitude of other options, you can choose your brushing mode for a more satisfying result.
Electric Toothbrush Recommendations
Are you using a manual toothbrush and thinking about switching to an electric one? Would it be worth it, or would a manual toothbrush do the same for less?
Electric toothbrushes have been around for about 40 years now, but only recently did they grow in popularity as an alternative to the traditional, standard toothbrushes. Despite the belief that a throughout brushing for 3 minutes with a manual toothbrush is just as effective, modern studies came to the conclusion that electric toothbrushes have so much more to offer in terms of plaque removal, according to 56 studies published in 2014 by international research organization Cochrane Collaboration. Electric toothbrushes nowadays also offer additional benefits and a multitude of features which is why they are highly recommended by many dentists.
How to decide on the best electric toothbrush for you?
It all depends on your needs and budget. With costs ranging from 30$ to more than 500$, it might be confusing to decide on the electric toothbrush that’s just right for you. And while it sure is tempting to just go for the cheaper one, it’s still important to take into consideration the additional features that the pricier models can offer when deciding on the best electric toothbrush for you. Rotating toothbrushes are the cheapest, rotating-oscillating toothbrushes are pricier but undeniably more effective. Even more upscale are the sonic toothbrushes, that have yet to prove their superiority over the rotating-oscillating ones.
Cheaper toothbrushes also usually use AA batteries, so the motors are slower and have a less satisfying brushing ability compared to toothbrushes with dedicated, non-removable batteries. It’s also important to check the battery longevity before buying, and whether or not you want a charging travel case.
What are the best electric toothbrushes?
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Toothbrush
One of the most expensive toothbrushes on the market, yet still one of the most recommended. If you’re looking for an elegant design and an excellent battery longevity, this is definitely one of the best electric toothbrushes for you. Vibrating at 250Hz, the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean offers excellent cleaning with minimal effort. It comes with 5 cleaning modes; DailyClean, GumCare, Sensitive, Whitening and DeepClean. It also lets you know every 30 seconds that you should move to the next quadrant in your mouth to make sure that you’re brushing every part just long enough.
On the downside, this toothbrush only comes with one brush head, knowing that the Philips brush heads are almost twice as expensive as the Oral-B heads.
Philips Sonicare EasyClean HX6511/50
This is the more basic Philips model. The design is simple, and it comes with only one standard cleaning mode. Yet, just like the DiamondClean, the EasyClean HX6511/50 offers excellent battery longevity and great cleaning, and is much more budget-friendly. It comes with no travel case though, which can be quite frustrating for frequent travelers, but you do, at least, have a plastic cap to keep the brush head clean.
Oral-B Genius Pro 8000
One of the most premium products offered by Oral-B, The Genius 8000 is undoubtedly one of the best electric toothbrushes out there, with its innovative technology and 5 cleaning modes. It rotates, oscillates and pulsates at the same time, offering a brilliant cleaning performance. This 3D brushing mode is proven to be the most effective by multiple studies. Just like the Philips Sonicare, this toothbrush has a Timer as well as a quadpacer. You can connect it to your phone via Bluetooth for real-time feedback on your brushing performance. It also alerts you if you’re using too much pressure on your teeth and gums. It comes with 3 brush heads and a smart travel case that allows you to not only charge your toothbrush, but also your smartphone.
Oral-B Pro 1000
A simpler and more affordable alternative from Oral-B.